Meet the Man With the Same Name as Brett Kavanaugh

Glen Norman
October 10, 2018

Protesters demonstrate on first day with newly sworn in Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the court at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., October 9, 2018.

The 53-year-old judge will sit at the far right side of the bench. The court will clarify what constitutes a crime as "serious" and "violent" in the Armed Career Criminal Act, which requires a minimum sentence of 15 years if an offender has three serious or violent felony convictions.

Kavanaugh was confirmed 50-48 on Saturday, and shortly afterward took his official constitutional and judicial oaths, allowing him to begin work immediately.

After an extra Federal Bureau of Investigation probe - which media reports say was drastically curtailed by the White House - also found nothing new, Kavanaugh was finally voted into the coveted post. And all Curtis Johnson seemed to hold was that that was excluded. He understands that justice must be divorced from the passions of the day - tethered instead to the enduring foundation of our republic: "the Constitution", he said.

Kavanaugh is the second justice Trump has successfully nominated to the Supreme Court, following the confirmation past year of Neil Gorsuch to the seat left by the late Antonin Scalia.

But Trump, who last week publicly mocked Ford, continued to stoke political divisions at Monday's ceremony, saying Kavanaugh had been the victim of "a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception". Throughout his exceptionally turbulent confirmation process, Kavanaugh touted his long history of empowering women in the workplace, pointing out how he's actually practiced what so many others preach. Both men testified about their respect for Supreme Court precedent, though Gorsuch already has been in the majority to overrule four high-court rulings.

The former dean of Yale Law School, from which Kavanaugh graduated, wrote he was "shell shocked" by the judge's forceful testimony denying sexual assault allegations and decrying what he called a concerted effort by liberal enemies, including the Clintons.

The comments came during a panel discussion following Kavanaugh's swearing in ceremony at the White House.

"This is a really divided time", said Justice Elena Kagan, who addressed the current climate of the court at an event at Princeton last week.

Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday evening in a private ceremony as protesters chanted outside the court building. Kavanaugh will hear his first cases on Tuesday, when the court convenes at 10 a.m.

"These things always blow over", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., said in a news conference shortly after Kavanaugh won confirmation.

His path to confirmation was turbulent - opposition to him intensified after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her decades ago, when they were teenagers. One of the two cases involves the detention of immigrants, an issue on which Kavanaugh's vote could be key.

His views on presidential powers could be tested within days in a dispute over whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross should submit to questioning by lawyers suing the Trump administration over a decision to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census.

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